Additional funding allows Keep Your Home California to help more homeowners

Keep Your Home California has received an additional $383.3 million in funding from the federal government, providing the free mortgage-assistance program with resources to help at least 12,000 more homeowners.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the additional funding last month, the second phase of funding approved for Keep Your Home California from the Hardest Hit Fund during the past three months.

With the additional dollars, Keep Your Home California will continue to December 31, 2020, or until the money is used. Previously, the deadline for the federally funded program was December 31, 2017.

John Chiang

State Treasurer John Chiang

“The announcement of additional funding for Keep Your Home California further validates the ongoing challenges many Californians are experiencing with homeownership,” said state Treasurer John Chiang. “We are excited to have the opportunity to help many more California homeowners who are struggling with their mortgages due to unaffordable payments, unemployment, negative equity and other financial hardships.”

The additional funding comes soon after Keep Your Home California reported its two best quarters since the state-managed program started in February 2011. Keep Your Home California issued more than $95 million in funding during the third and fourth quarters of 2015 – or a combined $190 million-plus for the second half of last year.

“While the housing market continues to recover, we know some homeowners and areas are still experiencing the damaging effects of the housing crisis,” said Mark McArdle, Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability.

California – the nation’s largest housing market and one of the hardest-hit from the housing crisis several years ago – had more than 1 million jobless residents in March. At least 50,000 homeowners in the state are 90 days or more behind on their mortgage payments, which often leads to foreclosure. California also has the most negative-equity than any state at $65 billion.

Tia Boatman Patterson

CalHFA Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson

“The demand for assistance from homeowners and the figures from housing industry reports clearly demonstrate the continued need for Keep Your Home California,” said Tia Boatman Patterson, Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency. The state agency oversees Keep Your Home California. “Our primary goal is to help struggling homeowners with their mortgage problems, but everyone, from neighborhoods to state government, benefits from Keep Your Home California.”

Keep Your Home California helps homeowners faced with a financial hardship, such as a job loss, cut in pay, divorce, death or extraordinary medical benefits. Homeowners with unaffordable or underwater mortgages could qualify for the Principal Reduction Program, which offers as much as $100,000 on mortgage assistance.

Homeowners must meet county-by-county income requirements, which range from about $70,000 in rural areas to more than $120,000 in higher-priced regions, such as the Bay Area and Orange County. And a homeowner’s mortgage servicer, the company that collects the monthly payments, must participate in the program. More than 250 mortgage servicers – including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase – are enrolled in Keep Your Home California.

Homeowners interested in learning more or applying for the program should call the counseling center at 888-954-5337 or find more information at www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org.  The counseling center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.